May 5 2016

Getting the 180 Day Stamp-Visa Run Part 8

visa run border crossing

Part 8 of our visa run (start here if you didn’t read the earlier posts.) We spent the last of our Guatemalan currency having breakfast at the Hotel Casa Amelia and were picked up in another smallish tour van for the ride back to Mexico. Even though it was only 8:20 we were the last ones in again, so we sat where we could and settled in for a long ride. Continue reading

April 12 2016

Tikal and 3 Kings Day Fireworks – Visa Run Part 7

Guatemala tikal

After a 6 hour bus ride we were finally in Guatemala.  The tour guide for the ruins of Tikal had said they would pick us up “At 8, maybe 825,” which I took to mean they would be late. We were sitting at the breakfast table downstairs in our hotel at 750 and had just placed our orders when the van showed up. So much for food, we had to go, couldn’t keep the group waiting. Continue reading

February 25 2016

Getting to Guatemala – Visa Run Part 6

visa run

Part 6 in my series detailing our first Visa Run:

When we left off we were having our family’s first backpacker-esque experience at Lacun ha cabanas somewhere near the border between Mexico and Guatemala; no power, limited food options, free-range poultry for an alarm clock. It’s not unpleasant, but I wouldn’t want to do it long term. Continue reading

January 17 2016

Visa Run Part 5: Mayan Ruins of Yaxchilan and Bonampak

The journey to Mayan ruins of Yaxchilan is one of my favorites so far, off in the remote jungle and only accessible by boats that look like overgrown canoes. I do wish it didn’t have to start so early. Continue reading

January 15 2016

Visa Run part 4: Chasing Waterfalls

Sorry for the delay but yesterday was Rory’s 7th birthday and I take the day off for birthdays. Back to the Visa Run Vacation: Our first day of touring we were up early ready to meet the tour group we would be with for the next 6 days only to find the people in our group a surprise. Continue reading

January 13 2016

Visa Run Part 3: La Venta

visa run

Did you read part 1 and 2 yet? Start here.

After taking a spontaneous taxi tour of Villahermosa in search of rain ponchos we finally gave up, only to find them at the gate to the place we wanted to go, La Venta Parque Museo. Continue reading

January 12 2016

Visa Run Part 2: The Overnight Bus to Villahermosa

visa run

Let’s talk about overnight buses. They can be a great way to get somewhere while you sleep, but they can also be terrifying and uncomfortable insomnia inducers. For my family it seems to be a bit of both. Continue reading

January 11 2016

Planning Our First Visa Run

bonampak, chiapas

Yesterday we returned from our first visa run/family vacation since our move to Mexico.

What’s a visa run you ask? When you enter a foreign country you are using a tourist visa, which gives you legal permission to be there.  You’re only visiting so there is a time limit on your stay and in Mexico it’s 180 days (many places it’s less.) To stay longer you need Continue reading

December 7 2015

Eating My Words About Being Safe…Almost

In the first week of December I’ve posted not once but twice on how safe I feel living in Mexico. This weekend I thought I was going to have to eat my words when my husband didn’t come home from a night out. Continue reading

December 3 2015

Living Between Their Childhood and Mine

I posted a picture of Rory with her new bike a few weeks ago, and my friend Erin responded, “Where’s her new helmet?” I didn’t have a good answer-they do have a few in the stores, but we just hadn’t felt the need to buy them even though we all had them back in Iowa. It got me thinking about how differently we live here-like we’ve gone back in time. Continue reading